The Queen of Death (A Meditative Experiment in Forgetting After Consuming 100mcg LSD)

by Dawn Bratton


I.

I’m an empty vehicle parked motionless
I lay on the ground here covered in bugs and earth
just like I’ll be in death when I’ve forgotten everything
I forget all of myself to remember you
leaves and bugs in my hair I feel like a queen
adorned with the crawling life of nature’s crown

if I can’t find joy in life I’ll find it in death
for thank god in death there is final forgetting
that which gains life from my death is my salvation
there’s beauty in death and decay when it is inverted
for in dissolution to another its life is converted
here I lie covered in my own death in my backyard

I can assure those still living I’ve never been more peaceful
however you imagine me, truth is, I’m in elysian fields
and all that I was is returning to life
look in the eye of the ant that crawls from my grave
or the smoke that spirals up from my ashes
ashes to ashes and dust to dust come what passes

on the day that you’re born your wishes nobody asks
I return here again to my own unborn life in my backyard
we dislike flies because they thrive on our rotting flesh
and the aversion to dirt is an ownership issue at heart
I am a queen of Nature in my own death
garland like Persephone of white asphodel

the triumphal procession of life goes over my grave
the day will shine as never before for something tomorrow
when every particle of my body gives up its claim
a lifelong lease returning from where it came
this isn’t my body I only had it on lend
break me in pieces and carry away

it’s my turn to return the debt of my first day
and so the first & the last days keep coming & going for all
and each death is justified by each new breath
for every new breath is justified by a new joy
and joy is the justification for everything else
to Livingkind I donate my life in whole

in this moment my own heart bursts with Understanding
in my own death I will do service to you
the answer to the question which I’ve been seeking
which isn’t justified otherwise in my daily existence
for only in death can I do the Ultimate Service
on the altar of joy I am willing sacrificial victim

life is a death and death is a life, I’m crawling with bugs
I’ll never be thirsty or hungry again when I’m dead
all my bodily needs something else’s new problem
the aphid that crawls on my knee is my good friend
this is what happens when you forget on a whole new level
visions of death cloak me in peace

I am in the presence of the Great Being
only in death the life it is eternally seeking
what irony that I’d await my own destruction with pleasure
and it is more than right that it should be so
the balancing weights of Nature have beauty of their own making
but before I leave, the seed of this poem I put in the ground

you are my flower in the moment that you pluck it and read it
and when you blow it again it will be reseeded
your first breath was the reason for my own death
for only in death can all accounts be reckoned—

II.

Empty vehicle parked motionless
When you make room, look what enters

My body sits in the aftershocks of the presence
In my non-existence it finds its existence

I float here without identity and I am in heaven
I am a willing servant to your Visions

Eternal joy burst forth in my heart today
Concrete slab is a lot more comfortable than I usually give it credit

So many problems are solved only in death
Being the plaything of god is my life’s newfound purpose

Enter my body so I can carol your song
I could say I’ve been ravished and never felt better

An eternity of time has passed and somehow I feel younger
The note of an airplane’s whistle faints overhead

Here I lay plastered to half a lit globe in Universe
Turning a thousand miles per hour reports Galileo

All around me Life continues on just like it’ll do when I’m gone
But it has left a trail behind with which I’m blazing

I open my eyes to see wooden David
Michelangelo’s Vision reverberates into this vision

I promise to repay every talent that I’m given—

III.

I’m an empty vehicle parked motionless
I forget who I am and what it was I was supposed to do—



Dawn Bratton lives in California and writes poetry and short poetic fiction that explores themes of death, narratives with the past, perception, the nature of reality, and rediscovering meaning through experience. Her work has recently appeared in MARY: A Journal of New WritingCalliope on the Web, and Disquiet Arts. Liz Baron is an artist and restaurateur who lives in Texas by way of New York City. She and her husband, Jim, founded, own and operate four Mexican-Southwestern restaurants. She got her Bachelor of Fine Art from Pratt Institute but stopped painting when restaurant work and family life consumed most of her time. She is grateful to the online art classes of Sketchbook Skool that helped her regain the joy of a regular art practice. 

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